Built in tuffeau stone, with turned around volutes and dormers and arabesques, the château de Nitray is typical of the Renaissance. Incidentally, you will note that one of the dormers is dated 1516.
The facade offers two main features:
- asymmetry: the left 2/3 of the total length are symmetrical to either side of the wooden door. The right third of the total length is asymmetrical and breaks the monotony, while maintaining a geometric balance respecting the golden ratio.
- the contrast between the facade and the roof decoration: the facade is sober compared with mullioned windows and roof chimneys.
The golden ratio Multiply by 1,618 the width to get the length.
The tuffeau stone
Famous white stone from Touraine, tuffeau consists of remains of organisms and rock fragments from the waters. Aged 90 million years, the deposited sediments have suffered packing that, by pressure, allowed their recrystallization and cementation. The tuffeau is the result of this long and slow transformation of sediment into rock by cementing fossil particles altogether.
Today the tuffeau (known as white tuffeau) is available in regular and homogeneous benches at a depth of up to 40 metres.
Since Gallo-Roman times, builders have been exploiting tuffeau quarries in Anjou and Touraine.
Extractions reached their peak from the XIth to the XIXth century. In the middle of the XXth century, they had disappeared and were operated again in the 60s